Tuesday, June 30, 2015


On a trip to Malaysia in October 2014 I discovered a mobile phone brand Ninetology advertising themselves everywhere. Having never heard of them before I looked them up. Here's how they described themselves:

Ninetology, prominently stands tall in the eyes of ASEAN as the most innovative company with extensive growth capabilities beyond expectations. Developed by elites and strongly driven by our league of experts with more than a decade of experience below their belts, we indulge in the golden rule to further our rapid movement throughout ASEAN.

The company evidently crafted a name for itself within just few years along with expeditious development of quality smart devices, instilled with world-class technologies. Giants of the communication industry, of both local and international networks have come together with Ninetology in creating a whole new platform of all-rounded communication accessibility. Ninetology is not just about smart phones; it is an ecosystem upholding the most intelligent way of communication and assurance of worldwide connectivity.

Ninetology is marching fast and closer in achieving its ultimate goal as the hub of mobile intelligence and a one-stop brand for great ASEAN innovations. We are on the right track, looking at the milestone of progressions as the largest mobile technology provider across the region.

Definitely deserving of an award for the best use of buzzwords without actually saying anything.

They were obviously original thinkers when it came to language as they named one of their tablets the Outlook Xpress (sounds familiar?).

Less than a year later and it looks like the company doesn't exist any more. Maybe this headline explains why:

Ninetology LTE phone can rival Amazon Fire

If you haven't heard of the Amazon Fire, Wired had this to say:

The Amazon Fire Phone was always going to fail

Even the slickest marketing cannot replace building products that people actually want.

It turns out that Ninetology were acquired by AVAXX, who it turns out are not associated with the anti-vaccination network (anti-vaxxers):


We may be young & dynamic, but we've an age-old philosophy on service.

Our very NAME is testimony to this discipline.

AVAXX is acronym for Achieving Very Admirable Xcellence by going the Xtra mile. This is the inspirational fire that propels us to do better than the norm. It is more than an internal motivational battle cry. It is, for all intent and purposes, our daily way of life.

How does this relate to you?

Well, it is our aspiration that from your perspective, AVAXX would soon be an acronym for A Very Awesome Xperience Xceeding expectations. So your rewarding experience is the result of our continuous dedications to service.

As you deal with us more and more, you will be convinced of our commitment: that as you constantly search for opportunities and solutions in telecommunications and IT, so shall we continue to enhance your lifestyle by empowering you with innovative cellular and wireless telecommunications products and services.

At AVAXX, we aim not just to be responsive but proactive to your needs.

Reinforcing the above esprit de corps is our Corporate LOGO.

In keeping with the essence of technology - change - our Logo design is highly contemporary with a high-tech feel. It is at the same time avant-garde solid.

Or they could just say what they really do: Distribute Nokia phones.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Alex and computers

I was rather pleased to see Alex playing with Scratch this morning. It's a free Flash web tool designed for kids that enables them to write programs by connecting a variety of elements together. I think it's quite good for teaching kids about loops and logic.

I have also installed Microsoft Small Basic on his machine, though it might be a bit advanced for a six year old. Not for long, though.

Alex is rather obsessed with computers and is very comfortable using them. Right now he's very proud of his ability to change the desktop background in Windows 8. He also made his own slideshow movie with Movie Maker and another with YouTube.

The obsession can be rather funny though. He may be the only person who like Ctrl-Alt-Del and typing in passwords, getting rather upset that you don't have to do it this way for home machines, unlike enterprise systems at school and work.

He also wanted Word and PowerPoint. Unwilling to shell out further money for both until he actually needs them, I installed LibreOffice instead and told him that it was the latest version, newer than at school (him being used to this with Windows 8.1 instead of the school's Windows 7) and that's why the icons are different.

I must get him on to Linux as well. He prefers the iPad to his Windows 8 convertible laptop/tablet, but the reason I chose the latter is that it runs Adobe Flash, which a lot of educational websites, including Scratch, still require.

Unfortunately, the Microsoft Parental Controls are an annoying pain to use, though still beneficial when it comes to learning what not to click on.

What I really need to get working on is controls on YouTube to prevent certain useless topics from being displayed (e.g. EvanTubeHD, adult reviews of toys and endless computer game commentary). There's so much else that's educational or creative that could be watched instead.

I think back to reading my parents' 1950s medical textbooks, full of grotesque diseases largely unknown due to vaccines and antibiotics. Now Alex watches the highly educational Operation Ouch on ABC iView and can tell us the most remarkable medical facts. I'm quite envious actually!

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